Kolkata: The new zone-wise classification of city wards is yet to be finalized as the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, in consultation with Kolkata Police, is following up on some last-minute developments, but the good news is the number of high-risk areas is set to shrink.
Though fresh cases were reported from some pockets in south Kolkata on Tuesday, at least 20 wards in the city are likely to be categorized under Group C or Group Clean, as they are yet to report a single Covid case till date or no new case in the past two weeks.
Such “clean” neighbourhoods are likely to include areas, such as Tala in the north (no fresh case in two weeks), Kalighat in the south (not one single case) and Behala in southwest Kolkata.
KMC officials and police are also hopeful of including several wards, which have just one containment zone, in Group C. At present, there are 38 such wards in the city. This wards may also be included in Group B or Group Buffer, so that it witnesses greater relaxations from May 21.
“Even wards with two containment zones are showing rapid progress. For example, Ward 60 (Beniapukur) that had 10 containment zones even three weeks ago, now has two small containment zones. There are 43 wards with two containment zones. By simple arithmetic, we have at least 101 wards of 144, which can witness greater economic activities in the coming days,” said a joint CP at Lalbazar.
According to a senior KMC health department official, the civic body has reasons to feel confident with its interventions after some containment areas in boroughs VI and VII finally started showing progress after more than one month.
“The number of Covid-19 patients steadily rose in some of the worst-affected containment areas. At least, we have been able to bring down the numbers,” the official pointed out. The civic officials are also keeping a close watch on areas such as Burrabazar, Chitpore, Jorasanko and Amherst Street-Bowbazar areas where Covid-19 positive cases are growing at an alarming rate,” said a civic body official.
The rest of the 164 containment zones in the city are divided in the 43 remaining wards. In certain areas like Belgachhia, Mukundapukur and places where there are slums, like Tiljala and Topsia, chances are that total lockdown will continue for a few more days. “Only a limited area will be cordoned off and this time, we will designate specific shops from where people living in those zones can get their essentials,” said the IPS officer.
The KMC health department has special plans for these troubled wards. Atin Ghosh, a member of board of administrators (BOA) that governs the KMC board, said special teams were deployed in these ever-growing containment zones. “We have deployed special crack teams that will collect swab of Covid suspects and at the same time conduct random thermal screening in densely populated areas and slums,” Ghosh said.
Police said they have suggested that certain areas even in Covid-free zones are needed to be kept under watch.